Amy Michelle Wiley is an amazing young woman with incredible gifts in writing, encouraging, and so many other areas. I am privileged to call her a dear friend. She has several health struggles, and God has worked through them. This, however, is a struggle I was unaware of. And when I saw this post on the Jewels of Encouragement blog, I couldn't resist asking her if I can repost.In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
Good from the Dark
by Amy Michelle Wiley
My previously close and supportive family relationships were strained almost to the point of breaking. I knew in my head that the risk of illness from germs was better than the torment I was putting myself and my loved ones through, but I couldn’t escape the obsession. Nothing helped and things were so bad my family was almost considering bringing me to the mental hospital.
After being put on a medication, I slowly pulled out of it. Today I am more aware of germs than I was previously, but I am no longer controlled by them. I know I’m blessed to have had anxiety for such a short time—many people struggle with it their whole lives.
I look back on that time as the worst in my life. Hopefully it will remain so. There’s something truly horrible about loosing every bit of your self worth and about a loss of control over your own self. Yet it’s even dark times like that which God refers to in the verse, “In all things, give thanks.” (1 Thes 5:18)
How do I give thanks for a time so damaging to myself and my family? Is that the type of trial James talks about when it says to “count it all joy”? (James 1:2)
I think it is. It’s not that we should be glad for the horrible times, but we can have joy because God has promised that “all things work together for His good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
A few years ago, we discovered that my young niece also has anxiety issues. We believe she has Asperger’s and possibly OCD. I think my family is far better equipped to be able to handle and understand her reactions and behaviors, because of what they’ve been through with me.
God can and does bring good out of even the worst and most hopeless of times. Whatever that valley is for you, hold onto the knowledge that God will still use you—and specifically that experience—to bring glory to Himself and to help others.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV)On the other side of that experience I am even more thankful and aware of the blessing it is to find joy in life. I pray that each of you can also experience the fullness of joy we find in living for Christ our Savior.
, and writing a suspense novel, Voices of the Dark. Amy's online nickname, Sparrow, is a reminder from Matthew 10:29-31 that God cares about each tiny detail of her life. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and though she is disabled and daily faces physical struggles, she's learning that joy is a choice. Check out her website at www.sparrowsflight.com.
Do you have a story you'd like to share about God's goodness in your struggles? Drop me an email and we can talk!
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength
Joanne, thanks for allowing Amy to share her testimony. I believe much of what we encounter in this life is not just about us but it helps us to render the same grace to others.ReplyDelete
Joanne it is a powerful thing to let down our guards and share intimate situations that we encounter. Not only do we learn from others who may share similar situations, but we also open up the minds of our brothers and sisters in Christ so if they encounter a hardship, they can believe that they do not have to be alone. For God allows us to be helped by people He knows. And he will be with us through it all using many people from many different backgrounds and skills but who share the same caring DNA, allowing them to touch us in ways we never thought possible. We are all one in the Lord. So we can share our love in every way possible. I am thankful that she was able to meet that horrible challenge and overcome. Knowing her story will help someone else who might encounter that same diability. Thanks to Amy for allowing you to share it with us!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Wanda and Wendell! And thanks, Joanne, for posting it.ReplyDelete
I think sometimes God wants us to go to drs, needs us to touch people in all kinds of paths - because it is the touching of people's lives where those faith connections happen - and there's something in your story that will change someone's life! Nothing is ever waste material!ReplyDelete